Writing on the Shelter Wall

The Paloma Foundation has established a long-term partnership with the nine Toronto youth shelters that house more than 1,000 homeless youth from 16 to 24 years of age. Staff at the shelters talked with the Paloma Foundation about the increasing number of youth with mental health and addiction problems who are using the shelters – and how unequipped staff felt they were when required to respond to these complex needs. With over 30% of shelter residents having received a professional diagnosis of concurrent mental health and addiction disorders, and potentially another 35% with undiagnosed disorders, the need for staff training and support became evident to shelter and Foundation staff.

The Paloma – Youth Shelters Learning Series on Mental Health and Addiction Disorders was launched in 2010 to help the youth shelters respond to this challenge by setting up a series of training days for shelter staff. The training is designed by shelter management and incorporates topics targeted at the specific needs of the youth shelters and shelter staff. The live training sessions, held semi-annually, are recorded and then edited DVDs are uplinked for broader use by others in the community who work with those that have similar challenges, for use as training tools by staff unable to attend the events. The DVDs are accompanied by written reference materials to extend their usefulness.  These DVD’s and reference materials are available on this site.

Training sessions to date have addressed: Resilience: A Strength-Based Approach; Depression, Bipolar, and Suicidality;, Suicide and Self Harm; and Vicarious Trauma. Future topics will include addictions, psychosis, concurrent disorders, and developmental conditions of autism.

Given the proliferation of mental health and addiction disorders beyond the clientele served in Toronto’s youth shelters, others working with clients with these disorders may find the videos of these sessions, along with the supporting materials, useful in their search for information and tools to help them better serve and support their clients.

The videos of the workshop sessions are produced and edited by À la Carte Videos Inc., Toronto, in cooperation with the Paloma Foundation.

The Paloma – Youth Shelters Learning Series Workshops

 

Recovery and Mental Health

Workshop On October 28th, 2014 and January 27th, 2015, Lara Hollway and Tamara Daniel had the opportunity to present at the Paloma Learning Series on the subject of recovery and mental health. In these sessions, Tamara and Lara explored the … Continued

Videos | Resources

Addictions – Harm Reduction Strategies

At the workshop on November 12, 2014, a diverse panel of experts presented in-depth information about many of the complex issues surrounding addictions.  Included is a rich history of Canadian drug policy; practices and emerging trends; effects of drugs on the body; street drugs and prescription medications; drug interactions; emergency procedures for overdoses; risks; and, harm reduction history; practice; and varied approaches.

This workshop includes a wealth of information and varied perspectives delivered by a number of highly specialized professionals as well as those with lived experience dealing with the complex issues surrounding addictions; harm reduction philosophy and practices; drugs and drug users; and the challenges for staff dealing with these issues on a daily basis.

Videos | Resources

Vicarious Trauma – Evening Presentation

Dr. Maté identified the issues surrounding vicarious trauma and how it affects those who work with traumatized populations on a daily basis. Through personal anecdotes and selected readings from some of his award-winning books, Dr. Maté shared his extensive knowledge and experience, having responded to the extreme levels of stress and trauma of his patients throughout his years as a physician and psychotherapist.

Videos | Resources

Vicarious Trauma – Workshop

Dr. Maté identified the issues surrounding vicarious trauma and how it affects those who work with traumatized populations on a daily basis. Through personal anecdotes and selected readings from some of his award-winning books, Dr. Maté shared his extensive knowledge and experience, having responded to the extreme levels of stress and trauma of his patients throughout his years as a physician and psychotherapist.

Videos | Resources

Suicide and Self Harm

At the workshop on Suicide and Self Harm, held May 30, 2012, Yvonne Bergmans focused on four themes: the myths and language of suicide and self harm; the tools of crisis intervention, looking at the language of pain and emotional literacy; the creation of a climate of safety; and warning signs for suicide.

Videos | Resources

Depression, Bipolar, and Suicidality

Through presentations and discussions with the shelter staff, Karen De Prinse expanded on the understandings of mood, affect, mental disorders, suicidality, self harm, and other related concepts.

Videos | Resources

Resilience: A Strength-Based Approach

At the workshop on November 18, 2010, Dr. Ginsburg presented his model of resilience to a large group of workers from Toronto’s youth shelters. The sessions were lively and interactive, with all participants engaged in learning from each other and Dr. Ginsburg. The all-day event has been edited into a 20-chapter video highlighting the key messages and content. The video and supplementary materials distributed at the workshop are available free of charge.

Videos | Resources